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  • Throwing help

    My six year old son tends to push the ball instead of coming overhead. It really hurts his accuracy and velocity. I tell him that i want to see the ball above his head and to point his shoulder at me. What can i do to help him with this. any tips or drills to help.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Jblanchard View Post
    My six year old son tends to push the ball instead of coming overhead. It really hurts his accuracy and velocity. I tell him that i want to see the ball above his head and to point his shoulder at me. What can i do to help him with this. any tips or drills to help.
    How old???????
    "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
    - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
      How old???????
      Six year old.

      This is a tough one and video would help. I'm guessing he's throwing a bit side arm. Seems to me a lot of kids outgrow this with gentle instruction overtime and just pure growing. Kids playing catch in a pool with water level up near chest level can also encourage keeping the arm up when throwing.
      Last edited by pthawaii; 04-29-2012, 07:14 PM.
      Never played baseball, just a dad of someone that loves to play. So take any advice I post with a grain of salt.

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      • #4
        You got it. I tell him to bring the ball back behind his head and he wants to pull it down and push it from around his ear. He also opens up his shoulder. My main concerns are his form injuring his arm or elbow and starting bad habits that are hard to break. I tell him to point his shoulder to where he wants to throw and bring the ball back over his head to the point that I can see it. Is there anything wrong with what I am telling him?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Jblanchard View Post
          My main concerns are his form injuring his arm or elbow and starting bad habits that are hard to break.
          I don't think it's at all unusual for a kid that age to still be getting the basic arm action down. With practice and a little guidance here and there he'll be fine.

          Just for kicks you could try the throwing exercise where you throw from one knee, glove side foot forward. Removes the lower body so it's 100% arm action that's propelling the ball. If he's dropping his throwing arm elbow below his shoulder routinely you can stick a T next to his throwing side and set it at shoulder height. Some practice with this daily can begin to set the overhand throwing motion into muscle memory, so he isn't really thinking about it.

          I would also say sometimes less coaching is more at that age, just keep modeling proper throwing mechanics when you play catch with him and if you want try out some fun "games" with him where you sneak in little drills now and then. They get to thinking too much when throwing and things can really get wacky.

          He'll figure it out just over time, I'm betting.

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          • #6
            Many kids that age have a problem with their front arm, which causes most of this. They either never bring their front elbow up, or they drop it too soon. If so, have him exaggerate keeping both elbows up as long as possible during back yard throws.
            efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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            • #7
              I'm going to take the contrarian view here. I think the arm motion doesn't need to be taught at this age -- and probably shouldn't. At age six, I would keep it simple:

              1) start with the body positioned sideways to the target (glove side forwards, of course)
              2) take a step with the front (glove) foot.
              2b) extra credit: point the glove at the target
              3) throw the ball

              IMO, the solution to a bad arm path is "just play catch, Johnny!" Play enough catch and the kid will learn to throw, and his body will find a reasonably efficient and healthy form. At some point in the future, that form may be tweaked and optimized, but I don't think it makes sense to teach the arm action at age 6.

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              • #8
                IMHO, this problem occurs often at this age because of "small hands". It feels more comfortable to "push" the ball or have it closer to their head than it does to hold it away.

                I try lots of visual cues, such as "pitch like you're 6'3", "throwing downhill", "keep your arm long an strong", "stretch your arm like a rubber band" (away from your body), some work better than others.

                It's been my experience that how they throw at 6 isn't automatically how they throw at 8 or 10. They see how other kids throw, their hands grow, and they start to figure out what leads to greater velocity.

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                • #9
                  I use the queue that the first move should be towards the ground. Forces them to avoid going glove straight up to ear. If they go down first it seems like they naturally loop the arm back up and around. May not be the best queue, but has been very effective for me.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jblanchard View Post
                    You got it. I tell him to bring the ball back behind his head and he wants to pull it down and push it from around his ear. He also opens up his shoulder. My main concerns are his form injuring his arm or elbow and starting bad habits that are hard to break. I tell him to point his shoulder to where he wants to throw and bring the ball back over his head to the point that I can see it. Is there anything wrong with what I am telling him?
                    No, but check which way his throwing palm is facing when he puts his hand behind his head. If the palm is facing the target, bio-mechanically, he will have to lower his elbow and push the ball. The ball needs to face away from the target and then he needs to bring the shoulder and elbow around.

                    Teach him to catapult the ball with his forearm rather than push. The hand/forearm position and action are usually the cause of a low elbow, push.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jbooth View Post
                      No, but check which way his throwing palm is facing when he puts his hand behind his head. If the palm is facing the target, bio-mechanically, he will have to lower his elbow and push the ball. The ball needs to face away from the target and then he needs to bring the shoulder and elbow around.
                      Very few good players face the ball away from the target.

                      The few that do do so because they were taught to do that, not because it's a good idea.
                      Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

                      I also work with the pitchers who are dealing with injury problems.

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                      • #12
                        here is a very good video by tewks were he explains how to get into that pattern and layed back forearm (although marshall guys might not like it).
                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-IY8qVJPcc
                        I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dominik View Post
                          here is a very good video by tewks were he explains how to get into that pattern and layed back forearm (although marshall guys might not like it).
                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-IY8qVJPcc
                          wow, that's painful to listen to. His physical demonstration after the 2 minute mark is good though. I can save people 8 minutes with a cue ... "try to touch your neck".
                          efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Chris O'Leary View Post
                            Very few good players face the ball away from the target.

                            The few that do do so because they were taught to do that, not because it's a good idea.
                            Really? I don't think I've ever seen an MLB player who doesn't.

                            I'm talking about this position, and when I say face away from the target, I don't mean it has to be directly back. You just cannot have the palm directly facing your target when the arm is approximately in the position below:




                            Last edited by jbooth; 05-01-2012, 02:57 PM.

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                            • #15
                              I think chris just means that the ball should not face completely to CF. no real good thrower gets into the "pie throwing position" but there is something between pie throwing and ball facing to CF (classic cue). I think chris advocates showing to 3B or something like that.
                              I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

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